Difference between pillowcases and pillow shams

Pillowcases vs. Pillow Sham

We are asked daily, "what is the difference between a pillowcases and a pillow sham". The differences are small but there are some subtle differences. Watch the below video or scroll down to learn the differences and similarities. 


To shop for Italy's finest Pillowcases and bed linens - click here

To shop for our Italy's finest Pillow Shams - click here


Pillowcases and pillow shams not only sound alike, but they have a similar look as well. However, pillowcases are used to cover the pillows that are used for actual sleeping while most pillow shams (made from sheet weight fabric) can be slept on, typically they are used as a more decorative detail.  

Pillowcases are defined by the following criteria: 

  • Open at one end
  • Contains a flange at the opening
  • Their primary purpose is to protect the pillow from soiling
  •  Are intended for sleeping on 

Below images are stills from above video (forgive the expressions)...

Pillowcases are different than pillow shams

Pillow Shams are defined by the following criteria: 

  • Typically contain a tuck flap on back
  • All four sides often finished with flange or cording
  • Pillow shams typically are a little more decorative
  • Sheeting type fabrics used on shams can be slept on

Pillow shams can be slept on

Pillow shams are used in bedding & for other decorative purposes

Sizes of Pillowcases and Pillow Shams 

Pillowcases typically come in both Standard and King sizes. Queen sizes are available, but are generally a rare find. Most people prefer to sleep on a Standard size pillow because they are much simpler to position and adjust while you are sleeping. At Vero Linens, our Standard Pillowcases have been uniquely designed so that they can fit both a Standard and Queen size Pillow. 

Pillow shams are available in a wider array of sizes, which includes the following: 

  • Standard (20" x 26")
  • King (20" x 36")
  • Euro (26" x 26")
  • Queen (20" x 30")
  • Boudoir (12" x 16") 

Pillow Tips 

Purchase the finest bed sheets hereTo fit a single layer of sleeping pillows across a King-sized bed, use (3) Standard Pillowcases or (2) King Pillowcases. When filling out the width across a Queen-sized bed, go with (2) Standard Pillowcases. 

Vero Linens has everything you need when it comes to the best sleeping pillows of all sizes. We also carry the finest luxury linens, along with luxury duvet covers, extra deep pocketed fitted sheets and much more.  

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